Alex Rodgiguez will lose an entire 162 game season due to his involvement with PEDs, the Biogenesis scandal, and is denial of the aforementioned of which there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. He cannot play minor league ball in any affiliated league, and the Japanese leagues said they would voluntarily uphold the suspension. The Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League of baseball said they would be interested in him playing for them and since they operated independent of MLB are not covered by the ban. But a represented for the union tweeted only if he has the Yankees’ permission—although suspended, he is still under contract.
The controversy that arises is the collective bargaining agreement is for a first offense to be only 50 games, a second offense to be 100 games, and possible lifetime banishment for more than two offenses. A-Rod admitted to using steroids for two years in a Texas Rangers uniform and the man who claims he injected Mr. Rodriguez has come forward. He was originally suspended for 211 games, appealed it and played in pinstripes to the end of the 2013 season while under appeal. The result was a reduction by 49 games and prohibition from any post-season play. MLB claims A-Rod’s case was an exception to the 50-100 rule because in addition to just using, he also lied under oath. A-Rod claims the Yankees and MLB are colluding to relieve Hal Steinbrenner of a large contract and not have to pay him. Then why would the Yankees deny him permission to play for the Long Island Ducks? Sure the Ynakees would prefer to get out of the contract and since A-Rod was in the wrong, although anyone but a Yankee fan would not side with Steinbrenner who represents the one percent, the fact that the Yankees may get this break is simply collateral damage resulting from the justice system doing its job within the framework in which they have to work. Hal Steinbrenner also has to cover his own butt—suppose he doesn’t win? If the courts rule in A-Rod’s favor and he plays ball again in 2014, or if he miraculously makes a comeback at age 39 in 2015 as a Yankee, the Yankees are entitled to the healthiest most productive A-Rod they can get. He could play for the Ducks and suffer a career-ending injury. That would be the biggest tragedy of all as nobody including MLB would win. Think about it, if he can’t play anyway, the suspension becomes moot; weakening the infrastructure of the CBA and how it can handle PEDs.
The days of my youth when you could see most Met games on channel 9 in New York and sit in the upper deck at Shea Stadium for $1.30 are long gone. Even cheap seats at Citi Field can set back a gang (or family) of four over $100 and you have to subscribe to SNY on cable or dish to see the boys of summer play the game. The clock cannot be turned back now that the Reserve Clause was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and we have no choice but to pay through the nose if we choose to be fans—myself included. The one demand we has fans have is if we are going to pay through the nose, we at least want the assurance we are seeing an honest game. The game is being played with integrity and the players are maximizing their God-given talent, not injecting themselves with something allowing them to simulate a higher level of talent and sending a tainted message to the youth of America who worship these guys. Baseball must win, A-Rod must lose, for the good of the game.